Community Supported Agriculture

community supported agriculture meeting flyer Transition Heeley/Meersbrook held a workshop on community food growing on 23rd April. The meeting was attended by around 50 people and following are audio recordings and slides from the two presentations:

UPDATE: A email list has been created for following up the discussions at the meeting and a follow-up meeting on 6th May looked at the possibility of using some land in the Moss Valley. The next meeting on the CSA project will be on the 9th June 2009.

The first speaker was Chris from Transition Sheffield and he gave a brief report of his vist to one of the two sites that Stroud Community Agriculture run, there is a HTML version of his presentation on the wiki.

The second speaker was Kirstin Glendinning from The Soil Association, they have extensive resources on community supported agriculture on their site.

Resources on the Soil Association web site about Community Supported Agriculture include:

Cultivating Communities
This booklet gives a brief overview of CSA with 11 case studies
» download the Cultivating Communities booklet [pdf, 1.5 mb]
A Share in the Harvest - an action manual for community supported agriculture
This provides a comprehensive guide to all aspects of setting up a CSA project
» download the action manual [pdf, 338 kb]
Cultivating Co-operatives
Cultivating Co-operatives: organisational structures for local food enterprises.
This is a toolkit to help local food enterprises develop their organisations, allowing them to work effectively and achieve their aims.

Available from the Soil Association price: £15.00 or you can download it for free:
» download the toolkit [pdf, 5.3 mb]

Also Global Public Media recently featured a hour long radio show on CSA's:

Crop to Cuisine: Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs)
Today we demystify Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs). The USDA defines a CSA as a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes the community's farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Typically, members or "share-holders" of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer's salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm's bounty throughout the growing season.
Beyond receiving fresh locally grown produce, CSA's provide an opportunity to connect to land and farmers, participating directly in food production. They began in Germany and Japan in the 60's, and made their way to North America in the 80's. But CSAs are not what they once were. The model has become increasingly important in agriculture, and continues to evolve, offering different levels of commitment, and crops ranging from mixed seasonal vegetables to flower shares.
Download the show as an MP3

See also CSA videos on Google and LocalHarvest's page on Community Supported Agriculture in the USA — according to Wikipedia's page on CSA's there are "least 1,300 CSA farms, with estimates ranging as high as 3,000" in North America.

csa-flyer.pdf162.2 KB